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Bernard Cyril Freyberg

Portrait of Brigadier General Bernard Freyberg, Archives New Zealand, AALZ 25044 6 / F645 20. Image is subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Brigadier General Bernard Freyberg, Archives New Zealand, AALZ 25044 6 / F645 20. Image …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Bernard Cyril AWMM
  • Surname
    Freyberg AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Tiny AWMM
  • Service number
    4006 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    21 March 1889 AWMM RichmondSurrey AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Pre 1914 AWMM Unknown AWMM
    • Pre Nov 1939 AWMM Army Headquarters, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs Julia Freyberg (mother), Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs Barbara Freyberg (wife), London, England AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Wounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
      Wounded 9 times AWMM
    • Died of wounds, Cause of Death AWMM
      Died from rupture of his Gallipoli wounds AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of James and Julia Freyberg.

    The Freybergs migrated to New Zealand and moved to Wellington in 1891.

    Four brothers served in WW1 Oscar Freyberg (RNVR) killed 1915, Cuthbert Freyberg (2/91), Paul Milton Freyberg (12374) died of wounds 1917 and Bernard Cyril Freyberg (4006) who went on to serve in WW2 as well.

    Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with 6 (Hauraki) Regiment in January 1912

    In 1912, he unsuccessfully sought a position in the New Zealand Staff Corps.

    In 1913 he is reported to have been involved in the Mexican Civil War

    He first served with the RNVR at the outbreak of war in 1914, as part of the Hood Battalion.

    Served in Belgium in September 1914 and Gallipoli in 1915

    After being evacuated from Gallipoli, he transferred to the British Army, RW Surrey Regiment and served on the Western Front.

    Commanded 173 Brigade, 58 Division and 88 Brigade, 29 Division, 1917-1919

    On 14 June 1922, Freyberg married Barbara McLaren (nee Jekyll), a widow with two children. They had one son, Paul Freyberg, who also served in World War 2.

    Transferred to Grenadier Guards and then served as CO of 1 Battalion, Manchester Regiment, 1929-31

    Appointed Assistant Quartermaster General (AQMG) of Southern Command, UK, 1931-33

    Served as General Staff Officer grade 1 (GSO1) with the War Office in 1934

    Promote to Major General in July 1934

    Due to a heart murmur, Freyberg was obliged to retire in 1937.

    He returned to active duty in 1939 when he was briefly put in charge of the Salisbury Plain area before accepting command of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

    He remained as the commander of the New Zealand forces throughout the Second World War.

    After the war, Freyberg served as Governor-General of New Zealand, the from June 1946 to August 1952.

    Freyberg was admitted into the British peerage in 1951, taking the title 1st Baron of Wellington, New Zealand and of Munstead in the County of Surrey.

    He took up residence in the Norman Gateway at Windsor Castle to serve as its Deputy Constable and Lieutenant Governor on 1 March 1953. He served there until his death in 1963.

    Freyberg died when one of his old Gallipoli wounds ruptured.

    Victoria Cross not publicly held AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    4 July 1963 AWMM
    Age 74 AWMM
    WindsorBerkshire AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    St-Martha-on-the-Hill Cemetery, Surrey, England AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
18 February 2024Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
18 April 2015Cole MatthewAuckland, New ZealandResearcher

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